6 Jan 2022

Samoa Met Service website may have suffered cyber attack

8:35 am on 6 January 2022

The website of the Samoan Meteorology Service (SMS) may have been the victim of a cyber attack according to local Samoa media.

Radio Polynesia reported that an SMS official stated that their website became inoperative on 17 December. The government Minister in charge of the Meteorology Office, Toesulusulu Cedric Schuster, has yet to reply to their emails for a definitive comment.

Samoa Meteorological Service in Mulinuu

Samoa Meteorological Service in Mulinuu Photo: RNZ Pacific

SMS staff have stated that their IT division has been working to repair the website, and suspect that it has been hacked.

Meanwhile, TV1 Samoa obtained information that SMS staff were working to resolve the website problem with help from a Japanese IT expert.

This is a serious concern as the website, which posts important weather information, is down in the middle of Samoa's tropical cyclone season: November 2021 to April 2022. Although, the peak tropical cyclone activity is normally experienced from January to March.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has issued a statement on the seasonal outlook for the 2021-2022 cyclone season, which suggests that a tropical cyclone is likely to pass within 400km of Samoa. The current cyclone season includes background climate conditions which are similar to previous cyclone seasons.

Samoa Meteorological Service.in Mulinuu

Samoa Meteorological Service.in Mulinuu Photo: RNZ Pacific

The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) outlook has been raised to La Nina Alert, which indicates a 70% chance of a La Nina to occur in the coming months. Rainfall outlook is most likely to be above average for Samoa in the upcoming season.

Currently weather information and updates are available on the Samoa Meteorological Service Facebook page.

The latest weather forecast, states that a moderate North-easterly flow remains prevalent over Samoa, bringing clouds and rain showers for the rest of the week.